Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: A Walk on the Moon
Productgroup: DVD
A Walk on the Moon - movie DVD cover picture
UNFAITHFUL star DIANE LANE is exceptional in this great film

DIANE LANE (Unfaithful, The Perfect Storm) delivers another great performance in A WALK ON THE MOON. The film centres on her inner battle to let go of the youth that she never had. A subtle, effective, haunting and ultimately entertaining movie that you'll want to watch again. Brilliant performances by DIANE LANE (Unfaithful, Perfect Storm), VIGGO MORTENSON (Lord Of The Rings), and ANNA PAQUIN (X-Men)! 5 stars.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Tony Goldwyn
Diane Lane
Viggo Mortensen

DVD title: Classical Baby 3pk Set
Productgroup: DVD
Classical Baby 3pk Set - movie DVD cover picture
A must have for your baby!!!

We don't have the new 3-disc set that is coming out, but I am THRILLED to see this set coming! We have TIVO'd the original Classical Baby from HBO and our son has been watching it for about 3 months now. He is now almost 6 months and it is BY FAR his favorite thing--including all toys, etc. We do watch a few other videos including sign language and Baby Mozart, but nothing compares to this. He watches this every evening as part of his bed-time routine.

I can't wait for this to new set to come out and share it with our guy!

I have to add that it is really fun for adults to watch too. The videos are very imaginative and the music is awesome. My parents saw it for the first time when baby-sitting and they wanted a copy for themselves to watch!!! Enjoy!

Studio: Warner Home Video

DVD title: Fleetwood Mac - The Dance
Productgroup: DVD
Fleetwood Mac - The Dance - movie DVD cover picture
Absolutely Wonderful

To many people, Fleetwood Mac is synonymous with one name: Stevie Nicks. And while her talent as a singer, songwriter, and performer are undeniable.. there is another name that comes to my mind... Lindsey Buckingham. This video is a spectacular showcase of his prowess as a vocalist and musician.. and proves that he only gets better with age. His voice, once high pitched and at times almost feminine, has gained a deepness to it that does far greater justice to his songs than ever before. Those people who only bought the CD are missing out on the best song of the set: "Go Insane" (one of five songs not included on the CD). Originally a dance track from his 1984 solo album of the same name, here it is stripped down to expose the heartache that was once hidden behind catchy beats. It is just him and his guitar and it will leave you breathless. Other stand out performances are "The Chain", "I'm So Afraid", "Bleed to Love Her", "Big Love", and "Go Your Own Way". It is easy to see why Buckingham's fans, and even many people who dismiss Fleetwood Mac as pure pop, consider him to be one of the greatest and most underrated guitarists alive today. And here you see him at his best.

Studio: Wea/Warner Bros.
Director: Bruce Gowers
Lindsey Buckingham
Christine McVie
John McVie
Stevie Nicks
Mick Fleetwood
Lenny Castro
Brett Tuggle
Neale Heywood
Sharon Celani
Mindy Stein

DVD title: L'Atalante
Productgroup: DVD
L'Atalante - movie DVD cover picture
One Time Wonder

"L'Atalante" directed by Jean Vigo was made post-silent era, 1933. But it retains the photo story telling of cameraman, B. Kaufman ("On the Waterfront"). The lighting,overlaps, and F-stop tricks give this comedy of young love a romantic shimmer. Juliette (Dita Parlo, we see her again in Renior's "Grand Illusion") is a small town girl that falls for the boat Captain of a Seine River barge, Jean (Jean Daste). Michel Simon is the jester 1st Mate, a man who has lived life in a circus quirky way. Alas, young Juliette finds life on the boat as small as her village, so when they arrive in Paris, a series of events separate the lovers. The dialogue is not important, so the cinematography carries the story. The river and boat are dirty and worn, the rough industrial areas of Paris are ugly, and the unemployed rabbles of Paris are terrible. Dismissed as a trifling comedy when it first came out, by 1952, the New French Wave recognized Vigo's film as a masterpiece and a great inspiration. "L'Atalante" is now ranked in the top five best films ever made.

Studio: New Yorker Video
Director: Jean Vigo
Dita Parlo
Jean Dasté

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Best movie ever

Fabulous! Unlike Harry Potter, this movie rendition and the two preceding it maintained the integrity of the story...the care and love of the story was clear even though changes and omissions were made....for book lovers this was a godsend....for how many times has the movie cheapened the book.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Jackson
Viggo Mortensen
Ian McKellen
Elijah Wood

DVD title: Murder on a Sunday Morning
Productgroup: DVD
Murder on a Sunday Morning - movie DVD cover picture
Best Attorney documentary I have ever seen

This Documentary was flawlessly done. The deleted scenes on the DVD are also a must see.

Studio: New Video Group
Director: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade

DVD title: Breakdown
Productgroup: DVD
Breakdown - movie DVD cover picture
How can a film like this go so unnoticed?

During the summer of '97, a summer that gave us great movies like THE LOST WORLD, CONTACT, and AIR FORCE ONE, certainly there was room for BREAKDOWN, wasn't there? How in the world could so well-made a thriller as this one was escape everyone's notice?
Kurt Russell is this film's Everyman, who is travelling with his wife (Kathleen Quinlan) from New England to San Diego, when they run afoul of a redneck gang in the Utah hinterlands. One of them sets the trap for Russell's Jeep to break down, and then the leader of the gang (J.T. Walsh, chillingly despicable as always) abducts Quinlan and forces Russell to wire $90,000 as ransom for his wife's return. Naturally, this is money that he doesn't have.
After having to endure so much abuse from Walsh's sadistic underlings (the "rich a**holes lookin' for trouble" line really got my blood boiling, let me tell you!), however, Russell finally fights back and takes matters into his own hands, leading to a ferocious high-speed showdown.
Much has been said about the fact that director and co-writer Jonathan Mostow borrows greatly from other movies. This is true, but at least he has the good sense to borrow from some excellent ones: DUEL, STRAW DOGS, DELIVERANCE, THE VANISHING. Russell's performance (as had been the case in TOMBSTONE) is exceptional; and Quinlan, though she isn't seen that much onscreen, still plays an important part because of Russell's ever-increasing concern for her life as the film progresses. Walsh and his band of redneck pirates (including M.C. Gainey and Jack Noseworthy) rank right up there with the redneck rapists of DELIVERANCE and the bounty hunters from THE WILD BUNCH as the ultimate cinematic villains.
Brilliantly photographed by Douglas Milsome (a veteran of Stanley Kubrick's films; he lensed FULL METAL JACKET) and shot mostly on locations in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and southwestern California, BREAKDOWN remains one of the most underappreciated thrillers of all times. Hopefully, however, that status will change. It is a worthy addition to the thriller genre.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Jonathan Mostow
Kurt Russell
J.T. Walsh
Kathleen Quinlan

DVD title: The Women
Productgroup: DVD
The Women - movie DVD cover picture
The best chick flick of the century!

This movie had something like 139 women in it. There are absolutely no men. The art objects are all of women. Even the animals are female. Somehow, with all those lovely ladies (i.e. Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Joan Fontaine, Paulette Goddard), Rosalind Russell just walks off with the movie. Roz is hilarious. She talks 90 miles a minute, and turns in a brilliant comedic turn. Favorite moment--Roz falling out of the closet covered in accessories. Wonderful!!!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: George Cukor
Norma Shearer
Joan Crawford
Rosalind Russell

DVD title: Finding Neverland (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Finding Neverland (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A beautiful and sensitive portrait of a great artist

Finding Neverland is one of those rare films where all the various parts come together to produce a beautifully sensitive whole. With its great story and its remarkable attention to period detail, the movie is probably one of the best of 2004. All the players' deliverer fine performances in a film that is emotional and heart- rendering, without ever being excessively saccharine or over-dramatized. Finding Neverland is a subtle, nuanced film that, while exploring the child in us all, forever keeps us aware of the harsh realities of grown-up life.

Set in 1904, Finding Neverland centers on the famous playwright James Barrie (Johnny Depp). James is not having much luck with his theatrical career lately, or with life in general: his latest play got a horrible reception on opening night, his wife Mary (played with a subtle grace by Rhada Mitchell) is questioning his commitment to his marriage, and his kindly financial backer, Charles Frohman (Dustin Hoffman) is worried about James's worth. For the moment, Charles has managed to remain tentatively loyal to James, but he insists that James must have a hit play to guarantee continual backing. Meanwhile, Mary quietly cuts out the bad reviews of his plays from the local paper and shuts herself away in a separate bedroom. James seeks solace from all this and tries to find inspiration at the park.

One day he meets four little boys and their affable, widowed mother, Sylvia Davies (Kate Winslet). He begins to spend his afternoons with the boys, playing games with them and teaching them to use their imagination. The six of them form a simple, innocent, and genuine bond, but James forms the strongest attachment to the serious and withdrawn Peter (Freddie Highmore). As James shows the boys how to fly a kite and plays pirates with them, a play gradually begins to form in his mind - it's a fantastical, magical, fairy tale story of a boy who refuses to grow up. He calls it Peter Pan.

As the summer wears on he faces certain obstacles as he tries to get the play produced. Silvia develops a nasty cough and refuses to get help for it, people begin to talk about his improper friendship with the children of a widow, some of the performers are having trouble coping with their roles as animals, and his time with the children is constantly undermined by Silvia's strict, authoritarian mother (played by the still gorgeous Julie Christie).

Finding Neverland does a fantastic job of juxtaposing the two different worlds of childhood and adulthood, and the film dramatically reinforces the belief that childhood is a time to be cherished and held onto. The inevitable real-life allusions eventually appear and force the boys to grow up, but under the guise of the perceptive Barrie they manage to remain totally pure of heart. Through the unexpected fantasy sequences - James, Silvia and the boys on a pirate ship, James dancing with a giant bear in a circus, and the appearance of a heaven-like Neverland towards the end of the film - the viewer gradually learns how reality has a major hand in influencing fiction of authors like Barrie.

All the performances are remarkable: Depp catches the sensitivity and kindness of Barrie, while Winslet does a great job of conveying the stubborn, but kind and loving Silvia. The boys are also fine, playing their respective roles with an emotional honesty that never becomes cloying, syrupy or cute. The friendship between James and Sylvia, as well as the one between James and Peter, are tenderly portrayed and most affecting; likewise the gradual disintegration of James's marriage to Mary is rendered with a restrained melancholy and certain sadness. Finding Neverland is a wonderful portrayal of innocence in a world where children are often forced to grow up too fast and where artistic endeavor is found in the unlikeliest of places. Mike Leonard November 04.

Studio: Miramax
Director: Marc Forster
Johnny Depp
Kate Winslet
Julie Christie

DVD title: In Pursuit of Honor
Productgroup: DVD
In Pursuit of Honor - movie DVD cover picture
Don Johnson's best

This little known movie (a true story) shows government bureaucracy and heartless bungling at its worst, as rather than sell or give away 400 horses no longer needed by the soon to be mechanized army, the govt. chooses to destroy them. Don Johnson plays a grizzled career army officer who throws away that career and embarks on a long trek to save the horses, in effect stealing them and running for Canada with them and several other army men equally disgusted with the idea of slaughtering the animals. Johnson is not his usual suave, glib self in this movie, but his portrayal of the disillusioned army man is excellent.

Studio: Hbo Studios
Director: Ken Olin

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Photo Release -- Servinova, a Cisco Systems Registered Partner Company Has Started Network Testing on CISCO Aironet (PrimeZone via Yahoo! Finance)
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Photo Release -- Servinova, a Cisco Systems Registered Partner Company Has Started Network Testing on CISCO Aironet (RedNova)
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